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Colorado statewide fishing report and conditions – July 13, 2019

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Published Saturday, July 13, 2019

Conditions Report - Statewide

Statewide Conditions 

It appears that statewide rivers are starting to decrease in flow rates as we continue on through run-off season. Many of the larger rivers in the south central part of the state are clearing up and becoming fishable again. Tributary streams are still one of the best options available as the flows on these smaller drainages will drop first and provide the best fishing opportunities while awaiting the larger drainages to drop to optimal flows. Another good strategy currently would be to target the upper reaches of any creek, stream, or river that you are targeting. The upper reaches will tend to have lower flows than the lower reaches and will become fishable earlier. With the warm weather we have been experiencing recently large dry flies seem to be the name of the game currently. This is the time of year that fly anglers eagerly await. Some major hatches occurring this time of year are the Green Drakes and fishing with size 8 to 10 dry flies is something nobody will complain about. Another major food source on the menu of trout statewide currently and for the next many weeks are hoppers, making this the perfect time to get out and put those hopper dropper rigs to use and put some fish in the net.
Colorado Fishing Atlas

Conditions Report - Northeast Colorado

Eleven Mile State Park

As of 7/11/2019, water temperatures are hovering in the low 60's trout action continues to be strong day and night. Lots of anglers prefer fishing at night. It is always fun and exciting to catch fish in the dark. Most are using bait, some use fly and a bubble. Boaters on the troll continue their winning run. Fly anglers hitting well on mid and late morning Callebeatis. Early morning and mid-morning are very productive but fish are being caught throughout the day. Tasmanian Devils and Needlefish are always a favorite. Kokanee Salmon fishing has been fair, anglers are having sporadic success, no limits but action none the less. Silver and blue has been a good color combination this week. Look to North Shore Marina in deep water down 12 to 30 feet. Down riggers and or lead core lines are always a benefit. Action also around Duck Island and a surprise fish every now and then off of Rocking Chair in 40 feet of water. Northern Pike fishing is picking up, fish being caught are getting a little bigger. Lots of little ones as well. Work the weed lines along the overflow channel west of Stoll or the channel from Suckers Cove east to the wash out and then down to Lazy Boy. We still like Howbert to Witchers and coves in between. Deer Island can be a hidden treasure for big fish but it takes work at the rock drop offs. Big sticks, big tubes and Spinner Baits have done well. Mid-morning to early afternoon when the fish are slightly shallower sunning themselves.
Eleven Mile State Park

Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

As of 7/12/2019, flows are remaining high, fishing is very tough with the high flows and stained water. Anglers will need to use enough weight to stay in the strike zone and will need to use large enough flies or lures to catch the fish's attention as it drifts quickly by. With high water take extra precaution when wading. Flows: 867 CFS (7/12/2019)
Deckers and Cheeseman Canyon

Antero Reservoir

As of 7/11/2019, weed growth is abundant and the trout are hanging in the weeds for a couple of reasons. First the trout are feeding on the insects that are much more concentrated in and around the weeds. Second the larger more aggressive fish use the weeds as ambush hunting cover. Anglers have had success with a variety of baits, lures, and flies. Fish have been caught on scuds, callibaetis, and a variety of other flies. For lures jerk baits are still productive if they can be kept out of the weeds. Anglers are also having success fishing tube jigs and other artificial plastics.
Antero Reservoir 

Jackson Lake

As of 7/12/2019, surface water temperature is approximately 72 degrees. The water has cleared from the recent algae bloom. Fisherman are reporting success along the north shore in shallower areas of the lake. Walleye are doing fair; while Wipers are being reported as good. Most of the wipers are under the 15 inch limit however, fisherman are reporting catching high numbers of them. Twister tail grubs on jigs are the lures of choice. Anglers are also reporting some success catching both walleye and wipers while trolling shad style baits in various colors.
Jackson Lake State Park

Tarryall Reservoir

As of 7/11/2019, fishing for trout has slowed slightly with the increasing water temperatures however anglers are reporting success with both traditional baits such as PowerBait or wroms along the bottom and also on artificial lures. Some artificial lures that have been working are Kastmasters, and a variety of flies. The pike fishing has been slow but anglers targeting the pike have had some success using larger swimbaits, jerk baits, or in-line spinners.
Tarryall Reservoir

Boyd Lake

As of 7/10/2019, water temperatures are in the high 60's and approaching 70 degrees. With the warm water fishing for most of the warmwater species present here has really improved. Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are both being caught consistently on jigs, artificial worms, and sometimes topwater baits. The walleye bite has also been good with most anglers having the most success on the south end of the reservoir using jigs with paddletail swimbaits along the bottom. White bass action is also rated as good with Kastmasters being productive on the north end of the lake. Shore anglers seem to be having the most luck in the coves with inlets.
Boyd Lake

Cheesman Reservoir

As of 7/10/2019, the lake is full and water temperatures are increasing. With the warming water temperatures many of the fish have slid into slightly deeper water. Anglers targeting smallmouth are still having success on a variety of techniques. Anglers are also reporting some success catching larger pike in the shallow portions of the reservoir, large jerk baits and spinners have been working well.. Trout have been caught on a variety of lures including inline spinners such as Mepps. Anglers targeting trout using bait are having the most luck on nightcrawlers or PowerBait.
Cheesman Reservoir

North Sterling Reservoir

As of 7/10/2019, water temperature is about 72 degrees. There is currently an algae bloom occurring that is limiting visibility. Fishing for Carp and Drum is fair, Walleye and Crappie fishing is consistent but some anglers have to put in work to catch fish. Walleye are being caught on worms, leeches and jigs on a slow retrieval. Crappie are being caught on small jigs and minnows. The Reservoir is OPEN to BOATING. The Inlet is ON and the Outlet is ON. Anglers can buy fuel, bait and fishing supplies at the Marina on site which is open for the season. Boat slip rentals are available. Camping is by reservations only. 
North Sterling Reservoir

Spinney Mountain Reservoir

As of 7/12/2019, fishing at this Gold Medal Lake continues to be good for all species. Anglers targeting trout have reported success on tube jigs along the edges of the weeds. Anglers targeting pike are having success on lures large and small. Some anglers are even reporting catching trophy fish on smaller lures intended for trout. As the season progresses the tube jig bite is sure to continue for trout. Remember that no scented plastics, or bait of any kind is allowed in this reservoir.
Spinney Mountain Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

As of 7/10/2019, water temperatures are approaching 70 degrees. Walleye fishing has been tough but anglers trolling for the suspended fish are having the most success, shad profile baits in the 7 to 9 centimeter range have been the most productive. Fishing for Smallmouth Bass has been consistent with anglers catching fish in a wide variety of ways. Some anglers are waiting to fish the evening hours and having success throwing topwater lures near main lake points and the rock rubble found on the dams. During the day anglers are having success with drop shot rigs, jerk baits, and shaky head jigs. The walleye bite has been tough with very few reports of fish.
Horsetooth Reservoir

Barr Lake

As of 7/11/2019, water temperatures are in the low to mid 70's. The water clarity has recently cleared up substantially. Fishing remains inconsistent with some anglers having success catching walleye and other anglers struggling. Pulling worms behing a bottom bouncer or on a Lindy rig seem to be the best producers. Anglers have also reported limited success trolling crankbaits in various areas. Swimbaits rigged on a jig head can also be a technique to produce some action.
Barr Lake

Conditions Report - Southeast Colorado

Arkansas River- Below Pueblo Reservoir

As of 7/12/2019, the tailwater is currently running high, about 2200 cfs, as water is being moved downstream due to heavy runoff from this winter's snowpack. The fishing is nearly impossible at this time with the high flows and wading could be extremely dangerous, anglers that choose to wade are encouraged to use extreme caution. Flows: 2220 CFS (7/12/2019)
Arkansas River at Pueblo Reservoir 

Lake Pueblo

As of 7/11/2019, Surface temperature is just above 70 degrees with decreased water clarity. With the slightly stained water walleye fishing continues to be great. Anglers are reporting success catching walleye using just about every technique. Jigging with leeches, worms, or artificial baits has been the most productive. Anglers are also having success using slip bobbers near under water brush piles or submerged trees. The bass fishing is also great with current water temperatures and conditions with most bass being caught in shallower water using tube jigs, crankbaits, or finesse jigs. There have also been some reports of bass being caught in deeper water as well off of the many ledges and underwater ridges present in the reservoir. Wiper have also been reported while fishing some of the same techniques used to catch both walleye and bass. Be sure to check the 2019 Fishing Brochure for updates on new Pueblo Specific Regulations for 2019. Boat Ramp/Inspection Station hours are currently 5:00am to 12:00am. 
Lake Pueblo

Arkansas River Buena Vista to Salida

As of 7/12/2019, water temperatures are in the upper 40's to low 50's. Flows have started receding consistently since about the Fourth of July. Angling opportunities are getting better and better by the day. Water clarity is returning which is making the fishing more consistent with trout spreading out throughout the river better anglers are reporting good success. Large dry flies seem to be the name of the game currently which is no doubt one of the most fun ways to catch fish on a fly rod. Look for fishing to continue to be great as flows continue to decrease and clarity continues to increase. Flows: 2300 CFS (7/12/2019) 
Arkansas River - Buena Vista to Salida

John Martin Reservoir

As of 7/9/2019, water temperatures are nearing 80 degrees which can sometimes have a negative effect on fishing. There is a good amount of water being released from the dam at John Martin. Anglers are having good luck catching numbers of walleye, white bass, and crappie. Most of the walleye being caught are smaller in size, less than 15 inches. The most productive technique currently for white bass and crappie just a simple set-up with a minnow suspended below a bobber. This technique is most effective when fished near submerged brush.
John Martin Reservoir

Trinidad Reservoir

As of 7/12/2019, the lake is at 802 surface acres with a surface elevation of 6190.62. All shorelines are open for fishing. Water temperatures are around 70 degrees. South shore anglers are catching trout with PowerBait and other dough baits off the bottom, 12 to 15 inch fish are common. A few smaller walleye have been reported as well. Reilly Canyon is fishing fair for catfish using worms and liver along the bottom. Trout are also commonly being caught. Anglers fishing from a boat have had success catching trout and walleye. Trolling with worms or spinners seem to be the go to rig. Most walleye are being caught in 15 to 20 feet of water. Anglers targeting smallmouth bass are having the most success early in the mornings and later into the evening hours. 
Trinidad Reservoir

Conditions Report - Metro Denver Area

Aurora Reservoir

This 762-acre impoundment is located off E. Quincy Avenue, two miles east of E-470. Open to boating. Electric trolling motors only. As of 7/8/2019, water temperatures are just about 70 degrees. The trout are deeper now, so focus on casting out 40 to 50 yards off the east end of the dam. Boaters are reporting fair to good success on trout trolling with pop gear and crawlers and fishing with crawlers or PowerBait off the bottom in 20-30' of water. Some reports of largemouth being caught in the coves using soft plastics. Walleye are being caught on jigs focusing on main lake points and other structure. For more information call 303-326-8425. Park hours July 5:00am-9:30pm. Restricted to electric motors only. 
Aurora Reservoir

Cherry Creek

This 881-acre impoundment is located in Cherry Creek State Park, in Aurora. There are two entrances to the park, the east entrance off S. Dayton St. and the west entrance off S. Parker Rd. As of 7/11/2019, water temperatures are in the low to mid 70's. Anglers targeting walleye are having success fishing with jigs or pulling crawlers on a slow death rig. Legal walleyes have been tough to come by with most fish around the 17 inch mark. Reports of other species are inconsistent and the fishing seems to be slow. A few anglers have reported success finding crappies and catching a few here and there.
Cherry Creek Reservoir

Chatfield Reservoir

This 1,356-acre impoundment is located in Chatfield State Park. As of 7/11/2019, water temperature is now above 70 degrees. Smallmouth bass are being caught throughout the lake on a variety of presentations. Some of the best presentations are tube jigs or artificial creature baits. Walleye are being caught on most of the lakes shallow structures from 6 to 15 feet deep. During the warmest parts of the day it seems most of the fish are sliding deeper and can be caught in that 20 to 25 foot range. Anglers are having success pulling live bait rigs, or jigging. The old roadbeds seems to be holding the most fish currently. A few nice trout have been caught on the far south end of the reservoir using worms fished just off the bottom in 10 to 15 feet of water.
Chatfield Reservoir

Quincy Reservoir

As of 7/11/2019, Bass fishing is slow to fair. A large algae bloom is making the fishing very difficult with low visibility. The best action has been in the early morning and evening. Reports of smallmouth bass being caught off the dam using jigs. Restricted to artificial flies and lures only. Some reports of perch being caught using jigs. Only watercraft capable of being launched by hand permitted. Vehicles and trailers are not permitted in the water. For more information call 303-326-8424. Park Hours July 5:00am-9:30pm.
Quincy Reservoir

Conditions Report - Northwest Colorado

Blue River

As of 7/12/2019, flows have increased again to over 900 cfs. Flows this high really make fishing challenging and in many cases dangerous. Most of the fish have pushed out of the center of the river where the water is flowing with the most velocity. There have been very few reports of success from anglers due to the high water. Flows: 972 CFS (7/12/2019) 
Blue River - Silverthorne 

Colorado River

As of 7/12/2019, flows have decreased over the last week and a half. Fishing on the Colorado River is very difficult currently with high flows and very poor water clarity. With that being said anglers attempting to fish will need to get the attention of the fish to cause a reaction strike. Spin casting anglers should look to lures with a lot of vibration. Fly anglers will need to increase weight and size in order to be noticed by fish and to keep the flies in the strike zone. Flows: 3150 CFS (7/12/2019) 
Colorado River - Near Kremmling 

Lake Granby

As of 7/9/2019, water temperatures are in the mid 50's fishing for brown trout has slowed down with the warmer water temperatures but fish are still being caught sporadically during the low light periods of the day. Lake trout are still active and being caught by anglers targeting them by both vertical jigging techniques and trolling.
Lake Granby

Lake John

As of 7/8/2019, fishing is getting better and better, day by day but it's still slower fishing then most are used to here for this time of the season. It has been colder on average this season compared to previous seasons it's taking its sweet time warming up. However the average size is continuing to be nicer this year compared to last year. Still a mix of items working well right now including flatfish, Kastmasters, Rapala's, nightcrawlers, green garlic PowerBait and salmon egg peach PowerBait. We are seeing top water action on midges, chronomids, and mini leeches.
Lake John

Steamboat Lake

As of 7/7/19, reports from local fisherman are that the fishing has been great so far this year. We've heard that PowerBait has been quite successful so far. Creeks are running quickly, caution is advised anytime anglers are fishing near swift moving water.
Steamboat Lake

Conditions Report - Southwest Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir 

As of 7/12/2019, water levels are slowly beginning to stabilize. The lake is up 15 vertical feet over the last two weeks but only rising about 6 inches per day now. The lake level is 4 feet from full pool and 79 feet above the low water level experienced over this past winter. Water temperatures are in the mid to high 60's. The quickly rising water levels have made the fishing rather tough, but as the water stabilizes the fishing should pick up. Anglers having the most success catching Kokanee Salmon are still trolling but the fish are higher in the water column than normal for this time of year. Anglers trolling with lead core are having the best success with 2 to 3 colors of lead line out. There have also been some Lake Trout caught within the top 20 feet of the water column. For more information, contact Curecanti National Recreation Area at 970-641-2337.
Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Taylor River - Below Taylor Park Reservoir

As of 7/12/2019, flows are still running pretty high. Reports have been coming in from anglers using emergers, mysis shrimp and baetis nymphs with success. With the increased flow, fish are moving to deeper waters and some in pocket water. Do not be afraid to try stonefly nymphs and midges in these sections. Flows: 538 CFS (7/12/2019)
Taylor River

Gunnison River - near Gunnison

As of 7/12/2019, flows are slowly but surely decreasing currently. The flows are still high to the point that fishing can be difficult. A few spin casting anglers have had success using spinner baits or spoons. Fly anglers are having limited success along the edges of the reservoir using large heavy nymphs to catch the fish's attention as well as stay down in the strike zone. As flows continue to decrease fishing is expected to improve with larger flies being productive. Flows: 2620 CFS (7/12/2019)
Gunnison River

Navajo Lake State Park

As of 7/12/19, fishing at Navajo has been good. The lake is rising every day. The current lake level is 6075.00, up 33.56 feet from one year ago. The water temperature at the boat ramp in Arboles is in the upper 60's to low 70's. Fishing for smallmouth bass and pike has been good. The best fishing has been in the shallow coves as the lake rises. The best lures are crankbaits and large lures resembling bait fish for pike. Some crappie are still being caught along structures. John Deere green jigs are good.
Navajo Lake State Park

Crawford Reservoir

As of 7/1/2019 we have had many anglers, both shore fishing and fishing from boats. They have reported catching pike and largemouth bass, as well as perch and crappie. Remember that there is a lake specific limit on the bass. They must be 18 inches or larger to keep, and you can only keep ONE. Statewide limits pertain to all other species.
Crawford Reservoir

McPhee Reservoir

As of 7/12/19, anglers are reporting that fishing has been picking up for Kokanee Salmon. Anglers are having the most success trolling with small squids and spinners in pink, orange, and chartreuse. Smallmouth bass fishing has also been good especially during the cooler parts of the day. Anglers targeting smallmouth during lower light periods such as dawn and dusk have had the most success on topwater baits or spinnerbaits fished close to the surface.
McPhee Reservoir

Ridgway State Park

As of 7/11/19, fishing for trout is good most productive lures of choice are worms, artificial salmon eggs, spinners, and Rapala's. Smallmouth are also biting in shallow rocky areas such as the West Shore and along Mears Bay. Small spinners, little minnow Rapala imitations, and small aquatic fly imitations are good starting points. Fishing at the fishing ponds at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk has slowed down with a variety of presentations working sporadically. Flows in the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk River are still high but anglers are having some success using bigger "bugs" such as leech imitations, San Juan Worms, or Chubby Chernobyl Ant dries. Caution is advised when wading.
Ridgway State Park